A look at the month’s best releases in dance, techno, dubstep and electronica with releases from Ricardo Villalobos, Prefuse 73, Martyn, Efdemin, Zomby and Animal Collective.
Two top names kick off this month’s Dance singles roundup as Berlin Techno legend Efdemin gets the remix treatment by happening Dutch Dubstep geezer Martyn. Martyn’s Bittersweet Mix re-constructs Efdemin’s ‘Acid Bells’ as a beat free solo piano piece with a touch of Eric Satie. The Dark Mix goes a different way, updating Efdemin’s track with a bouncy Soca rhythm and heavy bass pressure.
Staying in Berlin, techno bod Ricardo Villalobos has slapped his trademark never-ending hypnotic groove onto ‘King’s Child’ by German trio Wareika. Villalobos stripped out the Jamaican flavoured brass of the original and gave the track a more understated, minimalist feel. Flip to the original for a more Deep House styled workout loaded with Jamaican Jazz harmonies. Does anyone remember Rico, the trombone player with The Specials? well, ‘King’s Child’ is a dead ringer for Rico’s Reggae cover of the old jazz standard ‘Take Five’. There’s certainly some Reggae connection here as Wareika get their name from Wareika Hill, the location of an influential Rasta commune in Kingston.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Brooklyn artist Prefuse 73, aka Guillermo Scott Herren, has released a five-track EP as a more digestible sidekick to his eccentric prog-rock album Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian. All tracks on the EP The Forest Of Oversensitivity are based on treated choir samples with added bits somewhere between Free Jazz and downbeat Hip Hop. ‘Simple Loop Choir’ is the winner here, all minimalist and beats free. ‘Overkill Choir’ has a nice Jazz vibe going, with Prefuse 73 stretching things ever so slightly to keep the steppers on the dance floor on their toes.
Just back in the UK after soaking up some Japanese vibes for a year, Dubstepper Gold Panda makes his debut with the three-track EP Miyamae. ‘Mayuri’ is the cut here that’s going to fill the dance floor. Named after Gold Panda’s Japanese Techno DJ flatmate, it combines marching Techno drums with an elastic Dubstep approach. ‘Back Home’ and ‘Long Vacation’ are less straightforward, combining arcade noises, 8-bit digital Dancehall and wonky keyboard themes.
US Hip Hop producer Om’mas Keith has taken time out from working on P Diddy’s new album to hook up with UK Drum ‘n’ Bass veteran Mark Pritchard. The pair came up with ‘Wind It Up’, a slow moving 76BPM monster which bumps and grinds around a freak rhythm like Beyonce on shrooms. Both Om’mas and Pritchard have a long pedigree in making Hip Hop. Om’Mas as part of the Sa-Ra Creative Partners production team, which racked up Hip Hop hits with artists like Jurassic 5 and Pharoahe Monch and Pritchard under the name Harmonic 313.
Finally, the Dubstep massive is visibly making inroads into the Indie scene this year. First it’s Zomby remixing Franz Ferdinand’s ‘Ulysses’ and now we have LD and Zomby putting a fresh spin on Animal Collective’s ‘Summertime Clothes’. Zomby goes for the ambient approach on his ‘Analog Lego Mix’ while LD turns out a mid-tempo stepper with a mellow R&B feel.